Several reports suggested the Bucs overpaid for safety Dashon Goldson when they signed him at the start of free agency. General manager Mark Dominik and the team would disagree while adding that the All-Pro safety brings many dimensions to the football field. And among those dimensions, his ability to play special teams had to have been a plus for the team.
Position players play on special teams all the time. Whether they help out the punt or kickoff units is no big secret. For the Bucs, Goldson appears as though he will also serve as the punt protector.
At day 1 of the Bucs mini-camp practices on Tuesday, an interesting sight was Tampa Bay’s $41.25 million man lined up as punt protector for the majority of snaps during punting drills. While it seemed awkward at first, Goldson is no stranger to the position.
As a member of the the San Francisco 49ers, he served as their punt protector also. To shed some light on Goldson’s past as a punt protector, 49ers beat writer for the Mercury News, Monte Poole, told TheBayCave.com that the former 49ers Pro Bowler was a threat at the position.
“Two reasons why Goldson generally lined up as the protector for punter Andy Lee,” Poole said. “One, he’s a ferocious tackler who liked special teams. Two, he’s a legitimate threat to take a fake.”
And a threat for a fake he is.
During the 2012 season with San Francisco, Goldson — in as the punt protector — took a direct snap and rushed for 31 yards in Week 15 against the New England Patriots (video after the post). It was his only run of the season but the fact that he is now a threat to run the ball gives Tampa Bay yet another potential weapon to keep their offense on the field at any moment of a game.
Head coach Greg Schiano has been high on the importance of special teams since the first day he stepped into One Buc Place. After the mishap on the punt against the Kansas City Chiefs last season where Cody Grimm was the protector at the time, one has to believe this offseason the Buccaneers have truly evaluated last season’s film thoroughly.
The signing of Dashon Goldson was not only to prevent receivers from getting into the end zone, but also to give the Bucs another option in a crucial phase of the game, special teams. For that reason, the Bucs did not overpay for Goldson’s services, they may have gotten one of heck of a deal.